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Shinfield Meadows

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Shinfield Meadows
Author: jsellars, Published: 16 Dec 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Berkshire, Shinfield
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Shinfield Meadows
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 2 mile circular walk from Shinfield Grange in the Berkshire village of Shinfield taking in quiet farm tracks, wet meadows and local farmland with a short stretch alongside the meandering River Loddon. The surrounding countryside has retained much of its charm with traditional hedgerows and mature oaks and whatever the time of year you are pretty much guaranteed to spot red kites circling above or eyeing you from a tree.

This walk is definitely one for waterproof shoes or wellies. A third of the walk is footpath and farm track that are both extremely muddy during the winter months and the remaining part of the walk takes you through meadows which are liable to flood in winter but can be boggy nearly all year round. If the River Loddon over tops, it would be too dangerous to undertake the walk and you will need to retrace your steps back to the start. The walk negotiates a number of stiles and kissing gates and you will also be sharing many of the fields with sheep or cattle, so take care with dogs (farmers warning signs are in place). There are no amenities on route but these can be found within the local nearby village. Approximate time 45 minutes.

The walk starts and ends at Shinfield Grange. Travelling from Reading along the A327, cross over the M4 motorway and turn left at the traffic lights just after the Black Boy pub on the right-hand side. Entering Cutbush Lane, travel approximately 800m towards the end of this no-through road and you will see the entrance to Shinfield Grange clearly sign-posted on the right-hand side. You can pull into the Grange itself or park on Cutbush Lane which is a quiet road at this point. The address is Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, West Berkshire, RG2 9AF.

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Walk Sections

Start to Farm Track
Start to Farm Track

Start point: 51.4139 lat, -0.9364 long
End point: 51.4115 lat, -0.9321 long

Leave the Grange back through the entrance where you came in and turn left along Cutbush Lane. Almost immediately you will see a public footpath sign on your left, turn left here and follow the track along to a kissing gate on your left. Pass through this and follow the footpath, viewing the Grange gardens through the hedgerow as you walk down the path and ignoring the stile on your left for a small field with grazing sheep. (Please be aware that the farmer does not like dogs wandering off the lead at this point). At the end of the track pass through a small wooden gate.

Farm Track to River Loddon Bridge
Farm Track to River Loddon Bridge

Start point: 51.4115 lat, -0.9321 long
End point: 51.4087 lat, -0.926 long

Turn right onto the farm track and follow it until you reach the vehicular bridge over the River Loddon.

If you wish, cross the bridge and you can access the river on the right-hand side where there is shallow section of water and, if no one is fishing, the dogs can have a paddle or you can dip your toe in on a nice day.

To continue the walk, cross over the stile on the right before the bridge.

River Loddon Bridge to New Road
River Loddon Bridge to New Road

Start point: 51.4087 lat, -0.926 long
End point: 51.4071 lat, -0.9385 long

Keeping the river on your left, walk along the field boundary until you reach a gap in the hedge and a stile with a small bridge over a ditch. Cross the bridge and turn right, following the fence line until you reach another gap in the hedge in the corner of this second field.

(Note of caution, this is a wet meadow and at times will be flooded - do not try to cross this field if it is underwater, it can be deep and flowing).

Passing through the gap in the hedge, continue walking near to the fence line until you reach another stile in the corner of the third field. Cross this and head diagonally across the fourth field where you will come to another footbridge and stile combination. Cross over this bridge.

New Road to End
New Road to End

Start point: 51.4071 lat, -0.9385 long
End point: 51.414 lat, -0.9363 long

Take the diagonal path across the field (at about 2 o'clock) and you will shortly reach a stile.

This is now the site of a new road which will provide the link to the new Reading Science Park, but has sadly cut through and divided what was once a lovely walking area.

Crossing the stile, walk along the top edge of the next field for approximately 200m, crossing the stile at the end of the field onto a farm track. As you walk up the farm track you will pass a number of polytunnels on the left, which are used by the university students in horticultural trials. At the end of this short track you will find yourself back at the kissing gate you passed through in section one. From this point continue straight on and retrace your footsteps back to Cutbush lane, turning right towards Shinfield Grange where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author jsellars and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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